St. Joseph's Church (2nd generation) [1876-1967] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong
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St. Joseph's Church (2nd generation) [1876-1967]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 
1876-01-01
Date Place demolished: 
1967-01-01

1872, November 30    blessing of St. Joseph's Church, Garden Road,

1874, September 22 - destroyed by typhoon

1876 - rebuilt

1879 March 17 - St. Patrick's Hall, at St. Joseph's Church - Opening Day.

Photos that show this place

Comments

One of the Colony's best-known places of worship is St. Joseph's Church in Garden Road. The present building has a history which actually commences in  1876 when the structure was rebuilt but the foundations of the Church; were laid some years earlier in 1871 The disastrous typhoon 1874 practically destroyed the building when it had been in use for less than two years, and its reconstruction became necessary. Old files give us a record of the opening of the first St. Joseph's Church towards the end of 1872, and I take the following from a contemporary account.

 

On Saturday November 30, 1872, the Church was opened by a special service at half past three in the afternoon, A large number of people were present, among whom were noticed the Acting Chief-Justice,. Judge Ball,and Mr. Overbeck, Austrian Counsul. The service was impressively conducted by monseigneur Colomber, Bishop of Saigon, and in the course of it the very Rev. Fr. Raimondi delivered an eloquent address 'He said it was just a year and five days since they had met upon the spot, and the work which they then commenced was now. Completed

 

The Church was not large, but was fully suited to the purpose for which it was designed, and he doubted not in the course of time it would be filled with beautiful decorations and figures. He congratulated those present heartily on the work. Without their aid it would have been impossible to complete it, and. he offered them his sincere thanks for what they had done. More was in fact due to them than to himself. He had hoped for many years to see-a second Catholic Church in Hong Kong, but although he had entertained this for fourteen years, he had, not before been able to carry it out. With only one Catholic Church it was difficult to supply the wants of the different nationalities in Hongkong. The Chinese were easily provided for by an additional chapel, but for the others another church had long been wanted. Year after year he had hoped.to see this  project carried out, but until now they had remained without a church, and he was almost giving up his cherished hope when they had done what he could not do.

 

This Church he  added had been especially designed for the benefit of the soldiers, and was placed as near to them as. could be. It was impossible to express too highly the debt of gratitude which they. owed to the Government and other for the aid which had been granted, We might not be here very long but, wherever we might go, we should never forget those who laying aside all difference of belief had granted the place where the Church stood. He had not words enough to express his deep feeling of gratitude. That God might vouchsafe that their works should be prosperous, and grant them happiness in this world and salvation in that which is to come, would be his fervent hope.

 
 
Source: Old Hong Kong by Colonial Vol 1